JCRC Congratulates President-Elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris
Nov. 11, 2020
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement following the historic 2020 election:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) join our colleagues at AJC, AIPAC, JCPA, JFNA, and at Jewish Federations and independent JCRCs throughout the country in congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their historic victory in the 2020 presidential election. With their victory, Joe Biden becomes our nation’s second Catholic president while Kamala Harris becomes the first woman, black person, and person of South Asian descent to be elected to the office of Vice President.
“Nationally, Americans turned out in record numbers and it appears that Minnesota will once again lead the nation in voter participation with a turnout rate of nearly 80%, while South Dakotans voted at a rate of just over 66% and North Dakotans at about 65%. Though there is much in our democracy that still requires improvement, all Americans should take pride in the fact that even in the midst of a global pandemic so many of our fellow citizens exercised their most foundational civic virtue and responsibility.
“Starting at the top with Secretary of State Steve Simon, but also including the thousands of professionals and citizens who helped ensure a free and fair election, the JCRC is most grateful for their indefatigable service to our democracy.
“With today being Veteran’s Day we also honor all Americans who served our nation in uniform and in many cases risked their lives in defense of our democracy and the peaceful transition of power. We also are grateful to those currently serving in our armed forces at home and abroad who participated in our election just as millions of service members before them voted while deployed overseas.
“The JCRC acknowledges the gracious words of support for our new president and vice president from abroad and here at home.
“President Reuven Rivlin, Israel’s head of state, kindly extended, ‘the blessings of the Israeli people and of the State of Israel, to our friend Joe Biden on your election as the 46th President of the United States of America. I also send congratulations and best wishes for your success, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.’ President Rivlin later asserted, ‘Mr. President-elect, as a long-standing friend of Israel, you are now the leader of the free world and of the State of Israel’s closest and most important ally. The strategic alliance between our two countries and peoples is stronger than any political leadership and is not based solely on friendship. It is rooted deeply in our shared values and in our long-standing commitment to freedom and democracy as the foundations of our societies.’
“We also greatly applaud the leadership of President George W. Bush who privately and publicly extended his congratulations to our new president-elect and vice president-elect by stating, ‘[t]hough we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.’ We also appreciate President Bush’s timely judgment that the ‘American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.’
“In our pre-election Star Tribune commentary, the JCRC and our partners highlighted that despite our nation’s demonstrable polarization there is a genuine yearning for reconciliation as evidenced by the results of a recent Pew Center Poll finding, ‘fully 89% of Biden supporters and 86% of Trump supporters say that if their candidate is victorious, he should focus primarily on the concerns of all Americans, even if it means disappointing some of his supporters.’
“We are therefore heartened by President-elect Biden’s commitment in his victory speech that though he ‘ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me — as those who did.’
“As the nonpartisan public affairs voice for the Jewish community of Minnesota and the Dakotas, this work of cooperation, compromise, and consensus-building is our work as well. We look forward to building upon our relationships with Democrats and Republicans, both returning incumbents and those newly elected who we congratulate on their victories, in making the United States, Minnesota, and the Dakotas a better place to live, work, and raise our families for all who reside within our borders, as well as a trusted ally to our friends abroad.
“Finally, the JCRC proudly congratulates our board member Stephanie Levine on becoming the next mayor of Mendota Heights.”
Photo: US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov. 7, 2020. (Andrew Harnik by /POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.